Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Winterval wonderland

Listening to: Herman Dune - Giant

Dialect word of the day: Swedge (a fight or brawl)

How does one measure when Christmas period starts? The first day Advent? December 1st? or maybe the week immediately proceeding the big day? I prefer a more unconventional temporal marker, albeit every bit as regular and reliable as the ones above. For the past decade or so, I have considered it to be Christmas from the the moment I'm informed by a right-wing pillock, normally apalectic with rage that, this year "Birmingham City Council has banned Christmas." They usually cite the Daily Mail or the Sun as the source of this nugget and that it's an attempt of "loony left councillors going out of the way to avoid offending minorities" and/or "Political Correctness gone mad."

Problem is, there is not a shred of truth in the claim. What annoys me most, is the sheer gullibility of the people who believe such arrant nonsense (although being utterly spineless I never actually say this to them) All they need to do is think about what they're saying for a second. It is not, in the council's interests or power to 'ban' Christmas. What do these staunch opponents of all things political correct imagine the council are getting up to? Are they raiding branches of HMV looking for contraband copies of Slade CDs? Making road blocks on the A38 to catch those smuggling tinsel into the exclusion zone? Or sending specially trained sniffer dogs door to door to detect the smell of Mince Pies or Turkey?

Amazingly not.... those loony lefties at the council have suppressed official recognition of Christmas in Birmingham to such a degree , that every year they've put up a tree, an array of Christmas decorations, including a huge illuminated sign across Corporation Street that reads 'Happy Christmas Birmingham' in 15ft high letters! This pap about Birmingham banning Christmas comes from a marketing campaign the Council employed about 10 years ago, to get more shoppers into the refurbished city centre shops for a greater period of the year, and promote a range of secular and non-secular events throughout the Winter, including Winter solstice, Bonfire Night, Children in Need, Ice Skating, Carol concerts, New Year, Diwali and at the very heart of it all...Christmas itself. They hit upon the term 'Winterval' to market these diverse events to shoppers, the term Winterval was never used to replace Christmas and all the Winterval literature makes copious reference to Christmas. Don't believe me? Well here's the long defunct Winterval website, count up all those C-words!

This rather mundane truth hasn't stop lazy journos regularly trotting out "Birmingham bans Christmas" stories or their gullible readership, desperate for evidence of 'political correctness gone mad' or reverse discrimination ( however fictitious) lapping it up like sick puppies. What is doubly depressing is the way that the Church Of England have jumped onto the Birmingham bashing bandwagon, either out of ignorance or a cynical bid to curry favour with the baying mob.

It is an ideal story for reinforcing a whole set of deeply ingrained prejudices about council officials, minorities and the left in general. I am deeply suspicious of those jourmalists, (and yes I mean you Richard Littlejohn) who revel in being 'politically incorrect.' I suspect it is often just a way of legitimating their racist, homophobic or sexist attitudes, and celebrating the 'good' old days when you could slap the secretary's arse, call Indian waiters 'Gunga Din' or drive home after 10 pints "without the PC brigade jumping on your back."

Breathe easy chums, my lefty rant is over and Christmas is now officially upon us; eat drink and be merry (and that includes folks in Birmingham)


Pearl Previn said...

ah! you needed to write down the first line of each song. i thought i wasn't going to get any of them...

1. blonde redhead .23
2. ?
3. nico .the fairest of the season
4. new pornographers .all for swinging you around
5. le tigre - deceptacon
6. ?
7. ?
8. of montreal
9. ?
10. ?
11. ?
12. jens lekman - i saw her in the anti-war demonstration.
13. ?
14. ?
15. ?
16. the shins (from my hometown) - the past and pending
17. ?
18. ?
19. fleet foxes.
21. belle and sebastian - the blues are still blue.
22. leader of the pack - shangri las
23. ?
24. patti smith?
25. ?

another blog shall happen soon.
ps. i went on a shangri las kick after completing this.

Pearl Previn said...

i love of montreal.
i honestly think that they are the closest thing to a glam band we've got right now.
and by we, i mean society, not just you and me.
i saw them live a couple years ago, and this other band that's from albuquerque and are making it big now, hawk and a hacksaw opened for them. i don't know if you like neutral milk hotel, but jeremy barnes from that band is in hawk and a hacksaw. AND he's the lead singer's cousin. it was one of the most fun shows i've been to.
i don't really remember what my point was to that story.

The Sophisticate's Diary said...

..and now for a comment relevant to this post:
I am yet to find a grain of truth in any 'PC Gone Mad' story ever put to print.

The only people ever to utter the phrase, 'political correctness gone mad' in the perjorative are members of the lower forms of human life such as estate agents, tabloid hacks and the Countryside Alliance.

Conversely, our rigorous scientific studies show that the only people to actually claim to be politically correct tend not to have ever experienced the joys of oral sex.